Sparks look to erase disappointing start with a bang

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POWER MOVE—Sparks center Chiney Ogwumike scored eight points and grabbed 10 rebounds last Tuesday in their win against Indiana. (George Lasse)

By Mykell Mathieu

The Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA, after a slow start are hoping to make a run into the playoffs and hopefully do some damage. The Sparks have dealt with an array of problems this season, leading to their erratic play. They are currently 11-14.

After the off season signing of 6’8 All-Star center Liz Cambage the team was hoping to make a run at a potential championship, but things haven’t gone as planned. The Sparks have a new coach after general manager and head coach Derek Fisher was fired earlier in the year, but they are still trying to find consistency. They win three in a row, then lose three in a row.

Now interim head coach Fred Williams hopes to right the ship in time for the playoffs. If they play like they did last Tuesday night at Crypto.com Arena when they beat The Indiana Fever 86-79, they still have a chance to make the playoffs. Currently there are six teams fighting for three playoff spots. Playing one of the most demanding early- season schedules in the history of the WNBA, the Sparks are still very hopeful for a playoff run.

After a recent game, Sparks guard Brittney Sykes spoke about how this year’s team controls their own destiny regarding securing a playoff spot. “We can put ourselves in a very good position and not be in a position like last year when we needed teams to lose. We control our destiny, so we are going to keep that on our mind.”

Recently, the team has dealt with the injury bug, but right now the players are taking the attitude that whoever is on the court they must step up and help the team win. Like Jordin Canada said last Tuesday after Nneka Ogwumike scored 35 points. “We know what Nneka is going to do because she scores 20 or 30 points every night but the rest of us has to play at a high level.” Canada did her part last Tuesday when she scored 11 points, dished out eight assists, had one turnover in 31 minutes and recorded four steals.

To make a solid run to the playoffs the Sparks, who currently have only eight healthy players will need to get some key players back and continue to keep their eyes on the big picture, the playoffs.

Sparks look to erase disappointing start with a bang